JOANNA Cherry MP must be congratulated for her exposition of the parliamentary mandate route to independence, a policy for which her party campaigned at every General Election for 53 years from 1944 onwards (Ireland didn’t need a referendum on independence, so neither should we, January 8).

As an alternative and democratically valid pathway to independence, against the inevitability of the denial of a Section 30 from a Tory-dominated Westminster, its relevance has never been clearer. Her telling analogy with the Irish general election of 1918 is also historically central as many of the founders and guiding lights of the early SNP lived through, and will have probably been inspired by, the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry: History shows a referendum is not the only route to independence

The great Irish nationalist parliamentarian Charles Stewart Parnell, in 1885 at a speech in Cork, espoused the sovereignty of the Irish people by reminding Westminster: “No man may place the limits on the march of a nation, no-one can say thus far, and no further.” This is as true for the Scottish people now as it was for the Irish people then, but we need to both embolden and educate the fainthearts within the Yes movement, who cling to a Section 30 like a plastic dinghy in a Hebridean storm, that the historical foundations of Scottish popular sovereignty will stand up in any international court of law.

The 1320 Declaration of Arbroath was unique in early medieval Europe by its stated desire to limit the powers of the Scottish monarchy in the name of the people, rather than in the name of the nobility, as the Magna Carta does. Lord Cooper’s opinion of 1953 in MacCormick v Lord Advocate that “the unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle which has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law” is a modern expression of the same principle of the sovereignty of the Scottish people first declared in 1320.

READ MORE: Virtual SNP National Assembly to discuss alternative routes to independence

The UK, as a founding member of the United Nations, ratified the UN Charter, essentially the founding treaty of the UN, which in Article 2 enshrines the principle of national self-determination. Crucially for Mr Johnson and the Tory government, the Charter also outlines the right of sovereign people to decide their own international political status free from interference of any kind.

In order to activate the claim to a parliamentary mandate as a democratic route to independence, all pro-independence parties must ensure to include a Statement of Independence in their manifestos for the May elections, that if the Scottish Parliament returns a majority of pro-independence MSPs this is a demand for Westminster to sanction an independence referendum within a specified timescale and that failure to agree will mean the Scottish Government will proceed to an independence referendum based on our right to national self-determination under international law.

Cllr Andy Doig
Co Founder and Nominating Officer, Scotia Future

YOU recently printed a letter from me urging a bit more respect for Prince Charles Edward Stuart (and less of the infantilising “Bonnie Charlie” guff , and was promptly rebutted by a reader whose view was less admiring (viz. he was a rogue and a chancer whose legacy wrecked the Highlands).

That is one point of view, but I was pleased to hear Professor Murray Pittock deliver a more sympathetic, indeed admiring, portrait of Charles – and brilliantly describe the historical background, and foreground, to the Jacobite “Rebellions” and their aftermath – in Radio Scotland’s “Long Interview” on Sunday last.

I still believe that if the Stuarts had succeeded in reclaiming the British throne, Scotland would be a different country now – not a paradise, of course, but perhaps closer to the modern Nordic/north European kingdoms, or a republic, either being much preferable to the present arrangements.

David Roche
Coupar Angus